Events

Significant events, festivals, or celebrations in Britain.

The custom and origins of Christmas crackers

Christmas cracker, Christmas traditions

We take traditions for granted but, when you think about it, some of them are pretty weird.  Amongst the more bizarre British Christmas customs are Christmas crackers.  I refer, not to dry biscuits eaten with cheese and pâté, but to short tubes of cardboard covered with coloured paper, twisted at both ends, each typically containing […]

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A bit about Christmas cards

Christmas card, peace on earth

  A brief history of Christmas cards Of course, there is nothing new about the custom of contact at Christmas.  In 1843, Sir Henry Cole (1808-82), a civil servant, inventor and author, was juggling his heavy workload with his habit of writing Christmas letters to his many friends and relatives.  Cole thought that sending a

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National Service of Remembrance

Poppy wreaths, Cenotaph

Amazing; moving; humbling; impressive: words you could choose to describe the annual National Service of Remembrance held in London on Remembrance Sunday, the second Sunday in November.  Thousands attend every year; thousands watch it on TV; thousands more attend similar, albeit slightly more modest, services throughout the United Kingdom – and beyond.  It is an

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On Hallowe’en

Origins of Halloween

The local supermarket is pretending to be the props department for “Night of the Living Dead”.  There are plastic skulls, axes, hairy hands, spiders, broomsticks, masks more gruesome than many of the weekend shoppers in the Trafford Centre – and even life-size ravens with glowing red eyes.  Also, a plastic fish skeleton – the relevance

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Terror plot planned in peaceful village

Ashby St Ledgers, Northamptonshire

It is hard to associate the Northamptonshire village of Ashby St Ledgers with one of the most notorious terrorist plots of all time.  In fact, despite nestling between Dunstable’s tired industrial estates and the fearsome Daventry International Rail Terminal to the north, you may actually struggle to associate Ashby St Ledgers with the 21st century

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Anniversaries, 2016

James Herriot, Yorkshire Dales, Anniversaries, 2016

What have William the Conqueror, Shakespeare, Peter Rabbit, the Big Friendly Giant, Bobby Moore and David Cameron all got in common?  Answer: they were all associated with anniversaries in 2016.  Of course, some anniversaries were very kindly highlighted by publicists, who ultimately decide which momentous dates will be remembered in Britain. 950th anniversary of the

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